Woman says 'no deal' with Priceline

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Like many people, Valerie Hill jumps into a car everyday and takes off for work.

She has a full time job and works hard and she's not the only one.

So does Valerie's sister, who helps manage the kitchen at the luxurious Loews Ventana Resort in Tucson. 

"She was working 12 hours a day six days a week, sometimes longer," Hill tells 3 On Your Side.

That gave Hill an idea. She and her sister talked on the phone and decided to have a girls weekend  where they could get away from work and just relax. 

"Two sisters hanging out. Eating, drinking, laying out by the pool. Maybe a massage," she said.

So, Hill hopped on the Internet and found herself on Priceline.com.

The website allows consumers, like Hill, to punch in how much money they want to spend on a resort.

The only gamble is that consumers don't know the name of the resort until they pay the discounted rate and lock themselves in. 

That's what Hill did. She locked herself in for almost $100 a night for two nights. The total including
taxes was just under $200.00 

Then, it came time to find out what resort they got.

"It pops up and it was my sister's hotel. It was the Loews Ventana," said Hill. "And we started laughing hysterically. We thought it was funny."

Imagine trying to vacation at your place of employment. Who wants that?

Plus, Hill said the resort has a policy that states employees, like her sister, are prevented from vacationing at the resort.

Hill explained the situation to Priceline and asked if they could be moved to another resort, or, at the very least, get a refund.

But she said Priceline said, no way. Hill thought Priceline would do something to help her out, considering the situation.  But the company refused.

"First of all, I don't think it's right that they have a no refund  policy at all. That doesn't make sense to me at all."

3 On Your Side asked Priceline to reconsider its decision, due to the bizarre circumstances.

However, Priceline reiterated its position. A spokesman told 3 On Your Side, "We don't feel that this situation qualifies for a refund."
The company went on to say that Hill realized there was a remote chance that her sister's resort could be selected and should have known better.
Hill disagrees and said consumers should be very careful when booking through travel websites like Priceline.Com.

She's right about that. Travel websites like Priceline.Com sometimes offer great bargains, but you have to adhere to strict no refund guidelines.